The Right to Repair has been a controversial topic over the years as everyday household items such as laptops and smartphones become more difficult to repair on your own. Most consumer tech nowadays is made up of small parts that are sometimes soldered on, forcing you to send in your tech items to the appropriate company to get repaired. This is not only time consuming, but very expensive as well.
The Right to Repair is a movement focused on making consumer products to be easily repaired by either themselves and/or by independent laptop repair experts. As some consumers become more and more disgruntled by the current state of tech, they demand that tech companies make products that are easier to change and update.
1. Current Right to Repair Trends
While there has been major pushback from tech corporations, a few recent changes in the tech industry seem to be a step in the right direction. Microsoft, for instance, has made its new Surface laptops more accessible by consumers to repair.
Some tech companies are also starting to license third-party shops to repair their products. Apple and Samsung are two companies currently doing this. In 2018, Samsung partnered with UBreakIFix to fix certain models. Apple announced in August 2019 that it would supply official parts to independent repair shops, provided they complete a 40-hour course and pass a test. Both are provided free of charge.
While neither of these trends guarantees that other tech companies will follow suit, it does show that the Right to Repair movement has made an impact.
2. How to Look For Tech That Is Easy to Repair
Finding tech that is repairable on your own is not an easy task, but it can be done. The best way to check this is by researching the repair process beforehand.
Even with tech parts getting smaller and smaller there are plenty of aftermarket parts available online. If you’re interested in a piece of tech see if you can find a user repair manual online. The official website for the item you’re trying to fix is usually the best place to look. Tech teardown websites such as iFixit are a great alternative if you can’t find anything official from the manufacturer.
Just because parts are available online does not guarantee that it is easily repaired. Make sure that your tech has no required service codes that need to be entered before repairing, as well as the price of the parts. Soldered down parts are also a red flag, as these cannot be removed by normal means.